Several Quality-Related Questions for Roofing Job

  1. I’ve read that 1/2 laced closed valleys, while quick to put on, ARE the least durable of the 3 (1/2 laced, full-laced closed, and open w/metal). Is this accurate?

  2. Open valleys with metal: I see almost none of them anymore, though I’ve recently seen one new roof with it. I like the look, why doesn’t anybody do them anymore? Are their performance issues?

  3. Are there issues using architectural shingles (such as Tamco Heritage 30) on a 4/12 pitch roof? If so, what? Also, what would be preferred?

  4. Would ice/water shield be standard practice, in your opinion, on this type of roof for my area - southwest missouri?

  5. #15 or #30 pound felt?

  6. This is probably holy war territory, but I’ll ask. Any overall leanings on quality in these brands: Tamko, GAF, Owens-Corning, Certainteed. I’ve had some people recommend Tamko, yet one roofing company said they have had issues with Tamko standing behind their warranties.

I’m doing my first refurb and want the best bang for the buck. Given that different roofers deal with different shingles the homeowner is left with “flip a coin” answers because one will highly recommend the brand that the other won’t touch. Just trying to do my homework and sort out the truth.

i dont know what you mean by “laced” valleys. go to and look up valleys. they recommend you do a " closed cut". out of the shingles you mentioned my list would be


2 certainteed

owens corning & tamko about a tie.

According to one roofing book from the library, half-laced is the most common put on around here. Lap one side of the shingles up and across the valley by several inches. The opposing side of the roof coming into the valley is then cut mid-valley.

Full-laced would be put on by interweaving the two roof sections with both coming into the valley and across. No cuts. Seems to me the overall protection would be better this way, though I don’t care for the appearance quite as much since the photos I’ve seen look more rounded into the valleys rather than the sharper angle of the cut valleys.

Another book, a Fine Homebuilding publication, speaks of the same thing, though I don’t remember if they call it by the same terminology. It was this book that says the cut valley (half-laced) is the quickest, but also the least durable.

As with many things home-related, I’m learning, ask 10 different pros and get 10 different answers that all sound plausible. :slight_smile:

A bullet proof valley is one with metal. No one does them anymore because of the cost and whats involved with installing them. 1 out of 500 roofing customers want to do such a thing. 1 cut is the easiest and will last if installed correctly.


It became the style to have closed valleys.

If you like open metal valleys use them. Just make sure that the company you hire knows how to do them.

There are alot of guys who do not know how to do them.

what you call a “fully laced” valley or what we call “woven” will void most manufacture warranties. the best valley and most durable (we are speaking from experience as roofers, not authors of a book) is a “closed cut” o0r what you call “half laced”.

i can make any of those style valleys work for
20 + years.

just depends on what your roofer likes.


I have handled many warranty claims in the past, most are on TAMKO and GAF. The homeowner has never been happy with the outcome. I highly recommend CertainTeed, but I cannot give you any information about their warranty claims because I have never come across defective CertainTeed shingles.

At one time every builder in MN used open valleys. A common problem with open valleys was poor installation of ice and water, flashing, ridge, etc and leaks happened were the valleys met at the ridge.

A lot of builder had the roofer put down ice and water, felt, open valley then either cut rolls down the center or whole to be placed on each side of the valley. When I did this I would put the ice and water factory edge towards the center of the valley and put the ice and water right were my cut would be. Usually one finger on top and a finger for every 10 feet. Painted valley looks good if going this way.

Been using the closed valley method for 6-7 years now with no problems except build up on Landmark Premium roofs.

Ice and water shield is 24 inches past the interior wall in Minnesota, Winterguard by Certainteed is a good product as well as the Roofer Sellect 15 pound felt. If installing a 30 year laminate a good 15 pound felt is ok.

Laminates on 4/12’s are fine. If you go under a 3/12 with any shingle you can run into problems. It’s actually recommended to install a three tab on very low pitched roofs to help flow the water. It’s a tough sale to tell a home owner that a three tab is actually better for their roof although only 5-10% of the roof needs them.

The biggest problem with open metal valleys are that metal and asphalt shingles dont’ really mix well together. They both have a differant expansion and contraction rate. Serving to only stress the shingles that are adhered to the metal with roofing cement.

Closed cut is the best method in my opinion and experiance.

I agree with G-Tape.

Closed valley, single cut (to high side).

If you’re going to get someone to lay in an open valley for you, be sure they use a metal that’s of a thick enough grade & there is also an I & W shield on there.

Here in Central Texas, we don’t get much (new) call for the open style, however I think in the last 4 years I’ve probably removed about 6 or 7 of them. I list on my estimates “Open valley is not recommended, done only by request & at additional cost”.

As for the kind of look it gives you, I think something with an English Tudor style or very steep slopes seem to look the best; otherwise, it’s just not going to fit with the architecture or aesthetics.

26 gauge is minumal here in MN for open valley flashing and it has to be at least 16in wide.

From time to time find aluminum in closed valleys. It would never rust but is pretty thin and it’s a lot more than galvanized flashing. The nails are removed and the valleys are recycled.

How about galvanized steel under the closed valley?

Gweedo did my valleys with metal on a Espana tile roof.
The job he did looks like they will last 50-75 years.
Tampa Bay area.

Gweedo did my valleys with metal on a Espana tile roof.
The job he did looks like they will last 50-75 years.
Tampa Bay area.